Despite Hawker Beechcraft announcement earlier this month that it is to lay off 5 percent of its workforce in the face of the global economic slowdown, executives with the U.S. manufacturer here at the MEBA show say the Middle East remains one of the few remaining bright spots for airplane sales. This is why it recently opened a new sales office in Dubai.
MEBA Convention News » November 16, 2008
Prior to yesterday’s sixth board meeting of MEBAA, the association’s chairman Ali Al Naqbi told MEBA Convention News that the biggest bottleneck at present is the lack of manpower at the association. “We are recruiting three more staff this year to help us achieve our objectives.
MAZ Aviation chairman Mohammed Al-Zeer yesterday unveiled a new group of companies that will bring several specialized services for business and private aircraft to the Middle East by 2011.
MEBA organizers have declared themselves astonished by the impressive growth of the Middle East’s new biennial business aviation show. With 250 exhibitors from 29 countries along with 78 aircraft having converged here at Airport Expo Dubai this week, the 2008 edition will be 175 percent larger than the first show in January 2007.
If you are looking for a large-cabin Bombardier Challenger (or near Challenger) business jet, there are 16 here on display in the MEBA static park for your inspection. This includes one Challenger 601, six 604s, five 650s, two 850s and two Canadair Regional Jets CRJ200s converted to executive/VIP interiors. The latter two illustrate an interesting cross-fertilization that exists between business jets and regional jets.
Emivest Aerospace’s SJ30 light business jet established an unofficial speed record for its weight class on November 10, flying from London to Dubai in seven hours and seven minutes, including a 41-minute refueling stop in Istanbul, Turkey.
Cessna Aircraft has bolstered its fast-growing presence in the Middle East by naming long-time sales representative Wallan Aviation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as an authorized service center for 500-series Citation business jets.
Airbus this morning is expected to announce more orders for the various executive and VIP versions of its single-aisle and wide-body airliners. The latest sales breakthroughs seemingly vindicate the European airframer’s decision to effectively base this part of its business at a new office here in Dubai.
Over the last 12 months, the respected French builder of business jets has delivered an average of one new Falcon every month in the Middle East, increasing the current fleet to 41. Meanwhile, sales of new Falcons to customers in the area have remained on target, according to the company.
Investment research by UBS published this month shows a marked increase in both used business aircraft available for sale and in delivery positions for sale. The investment bank’s conclusion is this: “We believe the deterioration…and decline in flight activity presage what we think will be a significant slowing in new order activity.
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